Iran’s Banking Reforms Delayed By Government Bickering

Plans to reform Iran’s banking sector are moving at a predictably slow pace and could face further delays.

Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, head of the Majlis Economic Commission confirmed last month that parliament will delay its review of the draft Banking Reform Bill until the Iranian new year, starting on 20 March.

Internal disagreement between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), has delayed the bill’s presentation to parliament. The latter has threatened to produce its own version of the bill if the government fails to deliver on time.

The draft bill submitted by the CBI to the government defines the functions of banks and non-bank credit institutions and stipulates that these should be licensed by the CBI. It is intended to boost transparency, facilitate interest rate cuts and simplify banking services, whilst ensuing Sharia-compliance. (CONTINUED - 747 WORDS)